Thursday, November 24, 2005

First Snow and Birds of the Day

Just before dusk last evening I startled the red-tailed hawk I'd seen the week or so before in my driveway. This time, the hawk was over towards the back of the cabin, probably scoping out my bird feeder. It glided up the open space in the woods made by the driveway, crossed the lane and settled in the woods opposite, in one of the few trees that still has leaves attached, no doubt the better to hide from its prey.

Last last evening I was out with Dog and saw the promised snowfall had begun, a few hours earlier than forecast. An hour or so later it was time for Baby Dog's last walk of the evening and by then the ground and deck were covered with a thin layer of snow. As usual, Baby Dog leaped over the storm door opening that I haven't put the storm door in yet and then she skidded to a stop in surprise when she saw/felt the snow. By the time we came back inside she looked like a large piece of marzipan, only glazed with snow, not sugar.

By the time we went out this morning the snow was old hat to her. Unlike Dog, she just accepts the snow and moves on with her sniffing. Dog, on the other hand, thinks snow is the most wonderful thing a dog can have to play in and runs around with his nose about an inch underneath it, creating a very odd looking track. I only got a dusting of snow this time, though, so maybe Baby Dog will find it more interesting when there's more of it.

It's been almost 2 weeks now since I've been at home during daylight because I was in NH las weekend. So on this lovely Thanksgiving morning, I paid special attention to the birds around the house.

My first bird of the day was the red-tailed hawk from the evening before, popping out of the woods in the same area as I saw it last night. I expect it roosted in the tree it landed in after I flushed it.

After that I saw American crow, dark-eyed junco, and at the feeder--chickadee sp. (here I have both black-capped and Carolina, plus likely intergrades), Carolina wren, northern cardinal, white-breasted nuthatch, red-bellied woodpecker, tufted titmouse and blue jay (the B-1 bombers of the woods). I also heard one of the pileated woodpecks and American goldfinch, but didn't see those. Not a bad start to the day!

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